A new report from Nielsen Online suggests that Twitter hasn't yet reached a level of growth that can sustain the service, according to the research firm's mathematical model. Despite the explosive popularity of the messaging service, Nielsen data indicates more than 60 percent of Twitter users that visit the site in a given month do not return the following month.
So how can Twitter benefit your business? A funny thing happened the other day. A woman in my seminar said she was dying to meet Barry Manilow. So I "tweeted" precisely that — meaning I put a message out on the Twitter wire asking about Barry Manilow. Before I knew it, there was a tweet back telling me where Barry was starring! Okay, so Barry isn’t your thing and you don’t care where he is, but suppose you had a problem and you wanted to get some information, where would you do? I now know I would go to Twitter.
How to use Twitter?
Start thinking of Twitter as an educational resource. Get into the habit of asking people for email addresses, their Facebook page and their Twitter page. Now you have it. So it feels strange because you still don’t know why you’re asking. A store owner of note told me the other day after three months of haphazardly going to Facebook, he knows has a sense of its value. Why, because he is asking all of his customers to "be his friend" — a statement he still finds rather silly, but he has lots of lots of friends. You know, friends and friends of friends. I know for many of you it seems like a secret society, but I guarantee if you think about how it can help your business your thinking will change. Follow people and get them to follow you.
Twitter is a way to network. I received an email from someone I am following and they thanked me for my reply to their Tweet. (A short update of 140 characters or less). How can it be bad? Start following and leaving Tweets. The pluses are:
- It's a good way to keep in touch with clients and friends. A very quick way.
- You can get notified of events, deals, specials. Information from companies that might be useful to you.
- Setting up an account is simple; start by following me, www.twitter.com/Lizzc, leave me comments and ideas.
And now, a little terminology lesson to help you navigate the ins and outs of Twitter:
- Hashtag: Discloses the topic of your tweet by prefixing a word with a hash symbol, (i.e. #nbaplayoffs or #nfdraft.) Helps users find updates on specific subjects.
- Nudge: A notification sent to a user’s phone asking them to tweet.
- RT:Short for re-tweets. Users add RT in a tweet if they are reposting from another’s tweet.
- Twackle: Websites with sports-related Twitter updates and organizes the tweets by events.
- Tweetup: When Twitter users meet face-to-face
- TwitPic: Allows user to post photos to Twitter.
- Twitterati: Term used by the A-listers on Twitter.
Still not sure what it all means? You’re not the only one. I hope when Microsoft does a spell-check update they put in Twitter terms!